Lakers want Russell Westbrook demoted to bench but so far Frank Vogel has resisted, per report


The Los Angeles Lakers are desperate for any kind of spark. Yes, they got a win over the Warriors on Saturday thanks to 56 points from LeBron James, but prior to that they’d lost four straight and 11 of their last 14. 

Short of LeBron working a nightly miracle, might moving Russell Westbrook to the bench be their last card to play? 

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, there is an “increasing push” from the Lakers’ higher-ups to demote Westbrook from the starting lineup, “but so far coach Frank Vogel has resisted” making that move. Westbrook started Saturday night vs. the Warriors and finished with 20 points on 9-of-17 shooting. 

Vogel has flirted with this idea of moving Westbrook to the bench, and he has held him out of closing stretches of games on a few occasions this season. He’s just not suited to play off the ball. He’s shooting 28 percent from 3. 

Westbrook isn’t the Lakers’ only problem. But he’s at the core of what ails them. He cost them a lot of depth, shooting and perimeter defense to acquire. The Lakers, reportedly at the behest of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, squashed a potential Buddy Hield trade to bring in Westbrook instead. 

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